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There is no distinct transition between the romantic and 20th century music periods They were both musical movements that broke away from many of the previous traditional ideals Both stressed emotion and depth and focussed on the composers individual feelings and interpretations For simplicity the 20th century style music is generally regarded as starting in the decade preceding the First World War This was a time when composers began trying to experiment with the usage of the musical language The focus of many composers was on liberation of sound the right to make music with any sounds whether pleasurable or not As the romantic composers emphasized the composers emotions and individuality the 20th century composers found new ways using music to represent things ie Emotions events places The onset of worldwide war and political and social unrest was a trigger that encouraged composers to find new and different ways to express themselves The tonal system was to undergo the biggest change through this period of time Unlike romantic composers 20th century people did not look for clear pleasing and lyrical melodies Instead they almost totally abandoned the old tonal system and used all 12 tones to create harsh dissonant melodies and chords A new method of arranging pitches was created by Arnold Shoernberg This became known as the 12-tone system It required the use of all 12 tones in a random pattern which could then be manipulated to add variation Along with this several new types of harmonisation became widely used These are polychords cluster chords 4th chords Polychords are 2 or more separate chords played together Cluster chords are several consecutive semitones played in a chord These were used to create huge amounts of tension in the music This often created the effect of suspense that would not resolve for the entire piece Impressionism was a 20th century artistic movement that focussed on atmosphere tone colours and movement Symbolism is frequently associated with
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